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23 July 2014 @ 02:29 pm
for a destination [kdrama rec: what's up]  
CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED KDRAMA GEM OF MY HEART.

What's Up Poster 2

So, this is basically my last post before an indefinite hiatus because RL gets really, really real this year, but damn, I am so much in love with this right now that I had to talk about it, especially because this is one of those dramas that it's nearly impossible to even hear about, for some strange reason, and the only reason I ever saw it was because I've now seen close to 60 dramas and IT'S JUST HARD TO FIND STUFF, GUYS, LET ALONE GOOD STUFF. So when someone mentioned it as "underrated" on some forum or the other, I was like, 'eh, okay, let's give it a try before the Internship of Doom starts' etc.

(Also, apart from the 'let's just give it a try', I also started watching it because Im Joo Eun and Kim Ji Won!!! I am totally a sucker for these two and they were so wasted in The Heirs (as was everyone even remotely connected with that show.))


kim-ji-won Im_Joo_Eun__4


(AND THEY PLAY ROOMMATES! THE MOST PERFECT ROOMMATES IN THE HISTORY OF ROOMMATEHOOD OKAY. THESE TWO SHOULD BE IN EVERYTHING TOGETHER.)

AND, WELL. THIS HAPPENED.

Let's get this straight: THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. It was written before DH or You've Fallen For Me and lost out on the market and collective memory because of ridiculous network issues. The fact that this drama is underrated makes very little sense considering how popular dramas of this category are, and considering how beautifully written and ridiculously well-acted it is in general, I'd genuinely expect it to be a lot more popular. So, the only real reason I can figure out for that is because of the various production/release related external issues, and that it's basically comprised of the K-Drama B-Team, actors who usually play the second leads (there's a lot of "Oh, It's That Guy/Girl From...") and don't have the drawing star power or idol appeal of either SUFBB or DH. However, that actor-character dynamic is a factor that probably worked for me, because the whole setting of this musical theatre undergrads trying to make it felt like they were trying to make it because of the meta casting choices. So the whole thing felt very college, when you're only dreaming of making it and the actual work you're getting done doesn't feel like it's going to get you anywhere. Further, tonally, it's very unlike a regular kdrama, which obv is a death knell in kdrama world. And and if the editing is a little abrupt, it's because it was externally messed up by the network, they legit cut down the episode length a lot, but I wouldn't have known that without actually knowing it factually (and it must have been a lot because the Fame performance from the freaking trailer doesn't make it to the actual show. I HATE THE SYSTEM). Also, it took some two years to release so all the excitement over it had died by the time it actually released, not to mention it was dropped by the major networks and then picked up by cable, all of which also adds to the 'underrated' part. And maybe because it's darker, more cynical and more off-beat than all its idol counterparts, and possibly more niche because of it.

However, PSA: THIS DRAMA IS CRAZY GOOD, OKAY.


f1 f2


I didn't realize for the longest time that the title is a reference to Four Non Blondes' What's Up (maybe because I legit thought that song was called What's Going On till today) even though it's used often in the drama and is a part of one of my most favorite scenes ever. Honestly, I think it's a perfect encapsulation of what I love about this drama.Trying to get up this great big hill of hope, for a destination. The theme of being trapped is established right from the outset; Doo Ri auditioning with Nora's part from A Doll's House, Tae Yi stuck in a vulnerable childlike state because of her dad's death and mother's abandonment, Do Sung forever hidden behind the stage mask and his mother's political ambitions, Jae Hun's inability to break from the past because his self-definition is tied to it by now, Byung Gun with the excessive social anxiety created by an audience, Chae Young literally confined by her own persona. The frustration, the hope, the whole atmospheric feel of it; the complicated, confusing emotions where you're not too young to feel things you feel and yet everyone puts less value on your emotions because you're young. It's darker than most musical dramas-- You've Fallen For Me, Dream High, Shut Up! Flower Boy Band and looser, less structured, less plotted than dramas which can be considered ~objectively better and admittedly has a conclusion that is totally unresolved on a lot of angles, but it's grittier, realer because of it; not so much in story, but in emotions-- if that makes sense. Even when the things happening are predictable or incredulity-rousing, the feelings seem real. Maybe because the actors are so damn good. It's not even the Island of Misfit Toys appeal, because what this show mostly explores is that everyone is their own Misfit Toy in their own island. There's no standard of normalcy to adhere to. The naive country girl doesn't fit in as much as the cocky street rebel doesn't, the average singer doesn't fit in as much as the star doesn't, the idol doesn't fit in as much as the chaebol doesn't, the privileged princess doesn't fit in as much as the gamer girl doesn't. Nobody really fits in anywhere, and all you can really hope for in being shoved together is that your edges don't scrape people around you enough for you to be left alone.

I don't know what it is about this drama; because there are probably technically better, with tighter plotting and writing, more perfect resolutions etc.; Dream High being the inevitable and unenviable comparison because of the thematic premise-- and yet my investment level in this was bizarrely high (and that's in comparison to the similar-category dramas that I adore madly; SUFBB, DH etc) because I was ridiculously invested in the individual characters and the OTP. Every single one of those characters had interactions with all the other characters through which their narratives were defined; which meant that they weren't pigeon-holed or sloted according to the narrative, but latter- ie the narrative- was shaped according to the former -ie the interactions. This is actually a fantastic move, because ever so often the story becomes the limit of character-dynamics- i.e. the maximum interaction between characters is confined by a particular narrative- say, love triangle, bromance, parental relationships, etc., so there is no real reason for- for instance- Sam Dong to interact too much with Pil Suk, or to develop a dynamic outside that of their individual relationships with Hye Mi. What's Up! in that regard, I'd say, is extremely different, because it allows the development of dynamics that aren't need-based, people interact without their being any necessary 'end' to it, mostly because that is how people interact. And because of that there is an absolutely gorgeous range of dynamics that develop, and the community-feel, the college-feel of the drama is bar none.

Also the male lead is one of my favorites ever (and not only because I think he is so ridiculously hot (which I do, unfff) or that he's an amazing actor (which he is). His interactions with the female characters are golden. How many male leads are allowed to come across the The ~Bitchy ~Female ~Villain character who's just pulled off an evil scoop and is alone and near tears and tell her that she's totally the best and he loved her performance? Also, js, I LOVE THIS SORT OF THING. Where everyone has a dynamic with everyone and that it isn't confined by ship; you aren't only allowed to care or be worried about the people you're in love with. And alternatively, your favorites aren't always going to be the best, they can be naive to the point of stupidity, confused to the point of selfishness, and I LOVE that they have traits that just aren't appealing and yet the characters aren't compromised to make them better and more likable people, but those traits are highlighted, as much as their likeable traits are. That this show makes the very rare acknowledgment that being the ~innocent ~vulnerable type also means being open to manipulation and easily influenced and unable to read people, no matter how much female characters are accepted only if they're ~innocent AND ~strong-willed. Because, being weak-willed and easily led is unacceptable in fandom (which, stfu, fandom.)


While it's possible to (only) pick a male lead, the show is very, very ensemble, in terms of its own investment in its characters, so a character that gets a lot of screentime initially might just not get as much later and vice versa, even if they seem to be the most important characters in the drama. It's also very low-key on that scale, very slice-of-life. It's comprised of vignettes a lot, there are almost no major moments in the drama where everything changes. Even the character development is subtle, because the whole point of the college setting is not changing who these characters are or to show major development from the beginning to the end, but for the characters to finally become who they always were, free from the trappings of what family life and prior obligations entailed. Maybe that's why the resolution seems so open, because if it's your story that you're writing, you can't end, you can only decide to stop telling at some point. If Dream High is about the high highs and low lows, What's Up is the moments in between.

Also the OST and the general use of music-to-scene is stunning. It is so goddamn fantastic that it's most definitely a part of the reason that I can't get it out of my head-- because every time I do, I start singing something from the show and then remember my favorites all over again. It has the musical theatre feel with Korean versions of RENT's Seasons of Love and Greases' Those Magic Changes and Fame's I'm Gonna Live Forever etc. (In related news: I had NO IDEA that Daesung was a member of Big Bang, and just could not figure out people saying that they started watching for him). My investment is a lot personal too; like-- as ridic as that is-- but the fact that La Vie En Rose started playing when I'd been humming it just some five minutes before etc. Or the fact that the pre-watching external factors convinced me that I was aboard the wrong ship, BUT I WASN'T. I TOTALLY SHIPPED THE RIGHT SHIP AND IT SHIPPED IT SO HARD FROM THE BEGINNING ON. [Spoiler (click to open)]Except, of course, it was totally doomed, as is everything I ship ever, regardless of whether it's canon or not. Seriously, THE ONE TIME I SHIP CANON, THEY DON'T END UP TOGETHER? IN A KDRAMA? COME ON. IN DRAMALAND EVEN THE FOURTH LEADS END UP TOGETHER. But they were beautiful throughout and JH falling in love with TY through her ridiculously, insanely amazing Stupid Cupid performance-- and that you can clearly see him falling in love, and how charmed he is-- is now one of my favorite OTP moments of anything ever. I love all their interactions, every single one of them, madly. But this was just above and beyond, because of how she just started performing; playing all the parts at once, singing everything from Led Zep to Mandy Moore (or Connie Francis, if you're a puritan) and that comes back as a plot point and conflict later, that this is who she is, what she wants to do, desperately so, and it's an inextricable part of her existence. She's the girl who'll idealize the story of her dead dad and her runaway mother and set it to music and perform in front of a near-stranger. And Jae Hun's expressions through the whole performance, when he plays her launching stage, and goes from being amused to surprised to confused to basically in love? And how awkward and transparent he is about the whole thing where everyone and their mother knows his feelings within minutes, even when he's going for the cool-guy, "oh look, there's your girlfriend" routine with Do Sung. Or when they're at loggerheads and unable to hold back or let go and she tells him to wait for her in a situation he hates, and he's all "okay, go back. I will." Or that she writes him the petition of mercy because it's in her nature to, but she's allowed her trauma? That she isn't forced to immediately say that she forgives him, and the whole encounter is so beautifully subtle where she acknowledges that it wasn't entirely his fault, but she still feels a certain way and she's not going to force herself to feel another way, but she's going to wait to feel another way, if she ever does. And as much, as desperately I wanted them to be together, that was good writing right there. And "someday. I'd like that." Just, OT-FUCKING-P.Or maybe what I adore is that, oddly enough, while the conflicts are actually bigger than in most other dramas, but they're still portrayed less dramatically. Or maybe it's because I've done theatre since grade school onwards, which increases my interest in the very premise. Or maybe it's just a matter of mood, of how open you are to being influenced and pleased at a particular point in time and by what material. Also, this show does montages like nobody's business. Even if I hadn't been totally into it, I would have loved it just for two or three musical montages that it did, seriously.[Spoiler (click to open)]Im Joo Eun's What's Going On is so powerful, it's crazy. The whole montage was breathtaking, and ending with the TY/JH kiss at for a destination? FINE, SHOW, KILL ME, WHY DON'T YOU.

The show isn't perfect by far, the first half is definitely much stronger than the second (or maybe the second is better than the first, idk, I'm not an objective judge here, heh), the equal opportunity ensemble thing can be rough if you're not invested in some characters, it's not very polished, and I could've totally done without the central conflict of the last stretch being given maximum screen-time, which felt a little dragged, and I needed so much more OTP screen-time, and there were so many conflicts that I totally needed more of (including this FANTASTIC mother-daughter arc, that I cannot even with the perfection of) but it's definitely one of those dramas where, even with its various shortcomings, I don't want to mention them because of how much it made me feel. And overall I just wrote two thousand words on it, so that should be a pretty good indication of what I feel about it. A lot of it probably also has to do with the fact that I shipped a ship so hard after so long and it was actually happening. Not to mention the powerful individual beats [Spoiler]like Oh Doori's audition performance as Nora in A Doll's House going from who she is made to be to who she is, and her fierce, heartbreaking scene with her mother when she's just done playing doll. And then going through the reversal, for her mother's sake. Or Jae Hun running up and down the stairs, trying to let out all his frustration at being trapped, or Byung Hun performing alone, or Tae Yi and Jae Hun's confrontation over the drama lesson or Soo Bin finally feeling something over Do Sung's your music is safe or Chae Young talking about how she can't even cry without imagining an audience. Everything. Just crazy beautiful.

I wanted to be specific, I wanted to gush about my OTP and my individual favorites and be all "YES, OKAY, IT IS POSSIBLE TO NOT LIKE THEM FOR XYZ REASONS, BUT HERE IS WHY YOU TOTALLY SHOULD." But instead, this became general and cryptic, which is okay, because this is basically a rec post because I cannot deal with these feels alone with the some twenty people who have seen this drama. I may make an actual spoilery post as my last last post, but for now, I'm going to just go rewatch my favorite scenes. There's really no reason for why it's possible to madly love things that you know are less perfect than better things that you don't love as much. I can't say that everyone will like it as much as I did (I legit slept an hour in two days finishing it), especially because not having stars/exquisite plotting ala SUFBB/DH also means that reactions are going to be very, very personally contingent, but it's objectively a damn good drama, regardless.

Also, this:


People say the stage is a fake world. No way. It’s the stage where it has to be real. Everyone is watching there. You can’t fool them. It’s harder to find the real stuff in the real world. Everyone is just full of crap. So whenever you feel real emotions, remember it well. It’s really precious.




(As someone with the emotional range of a teaspoon who's done theater since forever, I was all YES at this.)

It's impossible to find practically anything related to this show, INCLUDING A GODDAMN SUBBED TRAILER, but well, we take what we can get champ, and we do our best with it.












ANNYEONG, CHINGUS. HASTA LA VISTA.
 
 
Éléonore: j'ai raté mes mots et c'est toutvergoldung on July 23rd, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
matching icons hell yeah
ZOE

since monday i've been thinking that i really need to message you about things (mainly about why you no rec me more bollywood things like i know you have more things to kill me with ok i know you do) and send you squishy loving

BUT HERE YOU ARE

ughhh i watched that trailer and why are there so many people i like in this show no thank you zoe

youcallitwinter: the road to nowhere.youcallitwinter on July 23rd, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: matching icons hell yeah
I TOTALLY HAVE THAT ICON SAVED UP TOO AND WAS DEBATING WHICH ONE TO UPLOAD.

Also, you need to watch Queen, like I told you to k. And YES TO ALL THE THINGS TO KILL YOU WITH. Like, Chalte Chalte. DO IT.

BUT ALSO, omg, THIS SHOW THOUGH. Do you not want to see Jiwon and Jueun be flawless roommates, BECAUSE THEY ARE. (I understand that Jiwon receives more criticism than other characters on the acting side, but I thought she was amazing, and come on, the girl was only 18 at the time as opposed to her co-stars, who were at least five years older; much like Suzy and Soohyun/Taecyeon in Dream High.)
Éléonore: je dis aime et je le sème sur ma planètevergoldung on July 23rd, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
Re: matching icons hell yeah
UM HELLO DID YOU NOT GET MY PM REGARDING THIS MOVIE SAVING MY LIFE?????????????

\o/ i will look up chalte chalte asap thank you <3333

aùzmldkaùdk DONT i have no time
Re: matching icons hell yeah - youcallitwinter on July 23rd, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wtaf lj phone app????? - vergoldung on July 23rd, 2014 11:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: wtaf lj phone app????? - youcallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vergoldung on July 24th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 10:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vergoldung on July 26th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vergoldung on July 26th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Florencia: DE (If & Only If)florencia7 on July 23rd, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
You should go into politics and change the world for the better ♥ ♥ ♥ EVERYTHING you write is so interesting, so convincing, so brilliant. I don't know this show, but I read this post with BATED BREATH.

& That's a really lovely quote!

Good luck with your internship! :D (BUT DO COME BACK TO US ASAP *hugs*)
youcallitwinter: fast times at ridgemont high.youcallitwinter on July 23rd, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU READ A RANDOM KDRAMA POST WHEN YOU DON'T EVEN WATCH KDRAMAS. Your existence is flawless, clearly.

Thank you! And I hope to return soon too, fandom is so much more interesting to me than 99% of my actual life!!
Alexia Lisa Drake: OUAT - Favoritealexia_drake on July 24th, 2014 12:00 am (UTC)
I love that they are all wearing black clothes in the What's Up picture. The spiked leather jacket is badass.

I guess I'll give you your usual birthday present even if you plan to go on hiatus. If I don't, most of your userpics would become inactive, then they would be deleted. I'm sure you'd rather not go back to just 15 userpics, I know I wouldn't! lol
youcallitwinter: keep the streets empty for meyoucallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:14 am (UTC)
Hahaha, yes, because of that I couldn't figure out what the drama was for the longest time xD

You are just too nice!! But since I'm going on hiatus anyway, it must be too much trouble for you so please don't feel like you have to! I really appreciate all the userpics you've given me over time, incredibly nice of you!
(no subject) - alexia_drake on July 24th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alexia_drake on July 25th, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
fluffyfrolicker: we persevere.fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
YOU ARE LEAVING US, NO. WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK?

SHOULD I OR SHOULD I WATCH KDRAMAS? WHY?

I WILL MISS YOU.
Éléonore: steady diet of soda pop and ritalinvergoldung on July 24th, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD AND I SUGGEST YOU START WITH REPLY 1997 BECAUSE THAT IS KIND OF A TRADITION IN OUR BAR. ACTUALFAX MOST FLAWLESS SERIES TO EXIST, YOU WILL LOVE EVERYTHING. I WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH ALL THE LINKS YOU NEED, COME AT ME/US.
ever_neutral: [f(x)] singularever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)
YEH, WHAT SHE SAID.
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
youcallitwinter: and the days were bright red.youcallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
I AM WATCHING ANOTHER EUN-JI DRAMA CALLED Trot Lovers AND AAAAHHHH, SHE IS SO THE GIRL OF MY HEART. BUT SHIWON 5EVER AND EVER.
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 25th, 2014 12:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vergoldung on July 24th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 25th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
fluffyfrolickerfluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
GOOD. I shall start with Reply 1997.

YOU WILL ALL BE THE END OF ME, WON'T YOU.
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 03:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
hijacking this thread right back - vergoldung on July 24th, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hijacking this thread right back - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 10:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vergoldung on July 24th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 24th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 25th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hijacking this thread right back - youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hijacking this thread right back - fluffyfrolicker on July 25th, 2014 12:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 25th, 2014 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 25th, 2014 02:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ever_neutral on July 25th, 2014 06:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on July 25th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
youcallitwinter: all quiet on the western front.youcallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:23 am (UTC)
I HAVE A BAD TRACK RECORD WITH HIATUSES BECAUSE I ALWAYS SUDDENLY APPEAR AGAIN, BUT IF I EVER WANT A REAL JOB WITH REAL MONEY ETC., I MUST WORK LIKE CRAZY THIS YEAR D:

ALSO WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME WHEN 90% OF ALL MY POSTS SINCE I STARTED WATCHING DRAMAS HAVE BEEN ABOUT DRAMAS. But dude, they are addictive. So many pretty people. And gorgeous romantic comedies. And high school stories. AND EVERYTHING WE WANT FROM LIFE.

I totally third Reply 1997 along with El and Alex, it was the first thing any of us saw and to date it's my favorite thing, even after 60 dramas. THE NOSTALGIA. THE JOYS AND PAINS OF BEING A FANGIRL. THE BEST FEMALE LEAD EVER.

I will miss you toooo :( I shall come back to you as soon as I can :((
youcallitwinter: yesterday upon the stair.youcallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:33 am (UTC)
ALSO, YOU CAN TOTALLY WATCH What's Up POST Reply 1997 BECAUSE IT'S A GREAT DRAMA TO START WITH.

Also, the best thing about kdramas is that they're really short, so the entire story gets completed in about 16-20 episodes and that way you don't have to keep following them for years and years and seasons and seasons. And since these ones are already aired, it becomes way easier to pace. YET ADDICTIVE, I TELL YOU.
ever_neutral: [angel] this will doever_neutral on July 24th, 2014 07:54 am (UTC)
I SIMPLY DID NOT KNOW DAESUNG WAS IN DRAMAS.
youcallitwinter: broadway has you in its hold right nowyoucallitwinter on July 24th, 2014 09:25 am (UTC)
I SIMPLY DID NOT KNOW DAESUNG WAS A THING IN EXISTENCE.

But I think this is the only drama he's done? YOU NEED TO WATCH HIM BEING THE MOST ADORKABLE IDOL-IN-HIDING EVER.
12cubed: Sky12_12_12 on July 24th, 2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
AHHHHH GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR INTERNSHIP!!!!! WE WILL MISS YOU SOOOOO MUCH (come back to us soon, shhh)
youcallitwinter: the ones that come easy.youcallitwinter on July 25th, 2014 09:45 am (UTC)
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO GOING TO MISS YOU TOO. :( (shhhh, I am bad at hiatuses, I shall probably have to force myself to stay away and it's still in the air whether I shall succeed or not :O)
ever_neutral: [miss a] inside the gridever_neutral on January 5th, 2015 08:19 am (UTC)
Finally I've found it in me to respond coherently to this post.

First of all, I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS SHOW IS AS ~UNSEEN~ AS YOU CLAIM??? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE WHEN TOP TIER IDOL GROUP MAIN VOCALIST DAESUNG HAS A MAJOR ROLE??? SENSE, THIS MAKES NONE.

I also started watching it because Im Joo Eun and Kim Ji Won!!! I am totally a sucker for these two and they were so wasted in The Heirs (as was everyone even remotely connected with that show.))

ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT THEIR VOICES? WHERE IS THIS SHOW'S GODDAMN OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK?????

AND THEY PLAY ROOMMATES! THE MOST PERFECT ROOMMATES IN THE HISTORY OF ROOMMATEHOOD OKAY.

NEVER OVER DR ALMOST BEATING THE SHIT OUT OF JH FOR MAKING TY CRY. THAT'S LOVE, BITCH.

and it must have been a lot because the Fame performance from the freaking trailer doesn't make it to the actual show. I HATE THE SYSTEM

……………………………

W

H

Y

WHO DARES TO DENY US ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT CAST MUSICAL SEQUENCE? THIS IS GOING TO BECOME MY SUPERVILLAIN ORIGIN STORY.

Also, it took some two years to release so all the excitement over it had died by the time it actually released, not to mention it was dropped by the major networks and then picked up by cable, all of which also adds to the 'underrated' part.

THE FUCK. WHAT DID IT EVER DO TO DESERVE SUCH NONSENSE.

You know what, this show might actually beat Dream High for me. (YES, I'M GOING THERE.) At the least it's tied for first place. IDK, WHAT IF I DID A SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON OF EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT. Hye Mi and Sam Dong and Hye Mi/Sam Dong = Tae Yi and Jae Hun and Jae Hun/Tae Yi to me. Ditto with Baek Hee v.s. Doo Ri and Pil Suk v.s. Chae Young (but I might actually pick Chae Young as a character over even IU :O). As far as the supporting dudes go, though, there's like no competition, Daesung + Byung Gun >>>>>> 2PM dudebros in DH. So just on those grounds What's Up wins. BUT I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO MAKE RASH DECISIONS.

Even when the things happening are predictable or incredulity-rousing, the feelings seem real. Maybe because the actors are so damn good.

IKR IKR IKR. A part of me is still amazed that the JH/TY storyline was so… SO. REAL TALK: ON ANY OTHER SHOW OUR OTP WOULD HAVE BEEN A DISASTER. But everything about them rings true emotionally from start to finish because the writers care about these characters. The "o hey I killed ur dad" revelation isn't just there for SHOCKING TWIST (we, the audience, know the truth before the characters do, which means that the whole point of the story is the fallout); as a premise it's designed to force the characters along their separate journeys -- JH finally having to wake up and take responsibility for his choices, TY learning she has to rely on herself before she can rely on other people.
ever_neutral: [ifnt] shut up flower boyever_neutral on January 5th, 2015 08:24 am (UTC)
pt 2 lmao lmao lmao
That this show makes the very rare acknowledgment that being the ~innocent ~vulnerable type also means being open to manipulation and easily influenced and unable to read people

THIS SHOW JUST LOVES TY SO MUCH?? I mean, IT PUTS HER THROUGH FUCKING HELL, but NEVER is it about punishing her for her "innocence". In fact, the show consistently portrays her as being the one in the right (see: THE POKER GAME SEQUENCE OF GLORY AND AGENCY, see: her being the one to figure out what JH did and choosing on her own settle it with the police, because that's just the kind of person she is -- the world tries to change her but she does what she believes in, always). Also, never mind Strong Female Characters™ who don't need no man, TY DOES need and want a man, she DOES want to be taken care of (as does DR), and the show doesn't treat her as weak for it. REASONS WHY THAT WORDLESS SCENE OUTSIDE THE FUNERAL IS THE MOST OTP OF OTP SCENES. Even after knowing the truth about JH she deliberately cries in his arms, she takes that comfort purely FOR HERSELF. AND I CRY AND MY TEARS ARE ALSO BLOOD.

And "someday. I'd like that."

YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL

REAL TALK, IT JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW DEEP I AM IN IT, I DON'T EVEN SEE THEM AS BEING "DOOMED" AT THIS POINT, SUCH IS MY FAITH IN THE OTP-NESS. I WILL BELIEVE.

(WHAT HAS THIS SHOW DONE TO US.)

The whole montage was breathtaking, and ending with the TY/JH kiss at for a destination? FINE, SHOW, KILL ME, WHY DON'T YOU.

YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL

ALSO, CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THEIR FIRST MEETING FOR A SECOND. CAN WE TALK ABOUT IT. HOW MOTHERFUCKING PERFECT THAT THEY MEET ON A MOVING TRAIN, THAT IT STARTS WITH HER ASKING HIM WHERE THE TRAIN'S GOING. THEY WERE STRANGERS STARTING OUT ON A JOURNEY (/Anastasia) BUT ALWAYS HEADED FOR THE SAME DESTINATION. THIS MOTHERFUCKING PERFECTLY CONSTRUCTED SHIP. WILL I EVER LOVE AGAIN?

Btw, I realise we haven't even once discussed Soo Bin and his perfection. I HAVE BEEN IN LOVE WITH THAT ACTOR SINCE WHITE CHRISTMAS AND WATCHING HIM BE GENIUS COMPOSER? U CANNOT UNDERSTAND MY FEELZ. (Also I shipped him and CY ngl.)

I legit slept an hour in two days finishing it

SHHHHHHHHHHH, AMIGO. I AM HERE NOW~~~~~~~~~~~~~

People say the stage is a fake world. No way. It’s the stage where it has to be real. Everyone is watching there. You can’t fool them. It’s harder to find the real stuff in the real world. Everyone is just full of crap. So whenever you feel real emotions, remember it well. It’s really precious.

ZOE. THIS IS MY LIFE. MY LIFE. NEVER BE A MUSICIAN. IT'LL FUCK YOU UP.

We won't even talk about "the hole inside of us" monologue. No comment.

BOO, THE TRAILER HAS BEEN BLOKED. *shakes fist* WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE THIS SHOW SO MUCH.

In conclusion: I wish I'd never been born.
youcallitwinter: the ones that come easy.youcallitwinter on January 16th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
Re: pt 2 lmao lmao lmao
I mean, IT PUTS HER THROUGH FUCKING HELL, but NEVER is it about punishing her for her "innocence".

CAN I CRY ABOUT THIS FOREVER???? Like I FUCKING LOVE that the show explored this from all the possible angles; that you had the guys who DID feel a ~protector vibe with TY, then you have CH who thinks TY is basically stupid and her "innocence" just an act to ~get the boys. And then DR who's just chill with however TY is, and is actually overprotective herself re: TY and yet doesn't deny her any agency (BECAUSE DR, OF ALL PEOPLE, KNOWS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE DENIED AGENCY. TO BE PUT IN A BOX, A DOLL'S HOUSE, AND LEFT THERE. I cannot even talk enough about how great this is, because TY might actually be who DR's mom always wanted her to be, and yet DR doesn't resent TY like she could have, for this mirror funhouse reflection thing?? Like she accepts that it's OKAY TO BE WHO TY IS, EVEN IF THAT'S NOT DR, AND THERE IS NO ~LARGER POINT THAT THE SHOW MAKES THAT DR IS ~COOLER FOR WANTING TO CUT HER LONG HAIR OR WEAR THE CLOTHES THAT SHE DOES AND BEING THE RESIDENT SNARK QUEEN BECAUSE TY IS EQUALLY OKAY FOR WANTING TO DRESS UP AND BEING SO VERY NICE. Best roommates in the history of history /amen

And in that context I ALSO LOVE SO MUCH THAT TY IS TOTALLY STAR-STRUCK BY CY. Like DR mock-asking JH how he feels that the love of his life is just as much into celebrities and just as much like all other girls as other girls???? I LOVE that TY ~abandoned the ~rejects table when CY called for her and talked about how CY was, like, totally her bff. BECAUSE THAT IS REALISTIC. TY doesn't need to be aloof and ~different to be lead. She wants to be noticed too, she wants to be the hot shot actresses' friend too <3333 I feel like these are the little character beats that make this show a cut above so many others.

(WHAT HAS THIS SHOW DONE TO US.)

EXISTENTIAL QUESTION OF THE DECADE. BECAUSE I BELIEVE TOO. LIKE DUDE, WE LIKE THESE TWO PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER AND TRUST EACH OTHER AND ARE SO INTO EACH OTHER AND FUCK EACH OTHER UP (but only accidentally, as opposed to all our other ships doing it deliberately lmao) AND FIGHT AND YET ALWAYS TAKE COMFORT IN EACH OTHER. I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD HAND IN MY REGULAR SHIPPING CARD FOR THIS, BECAUSE HOW IS THIS A THING I SHIP.

And they have scenes like the Poker-scene with all the trappings of convention, and OUR OTP TURNS IT ON ITS HEAD. THE GIRL GOES BACK. Also, I love that even the shady manager was eventually turned on his head, because he was an asshole clearly, but he was also super into TY's success and his company (in his lol-worthy ~advice to JH about letting TY do what she wants and not being jealous of her success or trying to contain her. Lmao because on any other show, THAT WOULD BE A CORRECT ASSESSMENT, THAT WOULD BE EXACTLY WHAT THE DYNAMIC WAS, BUT JH'S JUST FOUND OUT HE KILLED HER FATHER AND SHADY MANAGER'S ASSESSMENT IS NOT EVEN IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR.)

ALSO, CAN YOU SHUT UP ABOUT THEIR FIRST MEETING AND JOURNEY BCZ I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF THAT AND NOW I WON'T BE ABLE TO SLEEP FOR DAYS THINKING ABOUT IT BCZ Y E S. YOU SUCK OKAY LIKE.

Soo Bin was GR9xmillion, no arguments. Everything about him and his ~mysterious composer persona (and yet all too real O____O@ his art being criticized) was perf.

ZOE. THIS IS MY LIFE. MY LIFE. NEVER BE A MUSICIAN. IT'LL FUCK YOU UP.

I WANT TO LEARN TO PLAY THE PIANO.. On which note you should prob watch Secret Love Affair too some time, BRILLIANTLY made and the piano sequences are truly great.

In conclusion: I wish I'd never been born.

In conclusion: I wish you'd never been born too, because here you come at me just when i was recovering and pull me back into the pit of sunshine and angst and feels.

In further conclusion: FU.
Re: pt 2 lmao lmao lmao - ever_neutral on January 17th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
youcallitwinter: the abc of growing up.youcallitwinter on January 16th, 2015 10:01 pm (UTC)
*WHY DON'T I HAVE ANY WHAT'S UP ICONS- OH WAIT, BECAUSE NO ONE MAKES THEM. BECAUSE NO ONE HAS SEEN THIS SHOW.*

IT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR ME AS WELL??? Like, I may have legit missed out on the BEST SHOW EVER because there's so little talk about it. I came across the poster for several months in my drama search (mostly because I've seen every drama ever by now and my searches have gotten intense and rabbit-hole-y) before I even thought of watching it. And that too because I'd seen so many dramas by then that I was familiar with Kim Ji Won and Im Joo Eun and wanted to see more of them. LIKE HAS ANYONE ELSE EVER REC-ED THIS TO YOU?

OMG, I DIED LOOKING FOR THE SOUNDTRACK, LIKE. ACTUALFAX ~MUSICALS AND STUFF OKAY. HOW TO EVEN DEAL.

NEVER OVER DR ALMOST BEATING THE SHIT OUT OF JH FOR MAKING TY CRY. THAT'S LOVE, BITCH.

THAT SCENE THO. THAT SCENE. Also that time that TY went to the agency and DR was all "chill, she'll be just fine" to the boys and the minute TY actually called, she totally lost it and went all parental like "WHERE ARE YOU???? DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS????"

WHO DARES TO DENY US ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT CAST MUSICAL SEQUENCE? THIS IS GOING TO BECOME MY SUPERVILLAIN ORIGIN STORY.

IKR???? LIKE HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE FOR A MUSICAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE ONLY TRAILER (and I feel like that was supposed to be the actual ending, maybe a tribute performance or such? not that the actual ending wasn't great, BUT MORE SCENES?) TO NOT MAKE IT TO THE FINAL CUT?

Also, if you want a stronger origin story, let me be the one to break it that there was supposed to be a What's Up! Season Two, i.e. why the ~unfinished feel (which worked in context ofc, but there were plans for continuation is also why). WHICH GOT CANNED BCZ RATINGS OR BCZ IJH'S CONSCRIPTION.

Listen, I've been afraid to say this bcz, you know, Dream High, but WU beats all of the other dramas with similar themes that I've seen for me, because of some godforsaken reason that I can't identify. My level of investment in this show (and OTP) was outrageous. Even Suzy and Kim Soo Hyun (whom I always adored but was never ~crazy about) couldn't beat them. I'd still say DH is the ~better show, maybe because it truly is groundbreaking in some regards, but WU has my heart like ugh why.

But everything about them rings true emotionally from start to finish because the writers care about these characters.

THAT MAKES SUCH A DIFFERENCE???? Like I'd def say the same for DH in that regard, what makes these shows so...SO is that they care for ALL their characters, the ~bad ~guys get equal attention and arcs and interactions. And sometimes the ~good guys try to avoid responsibility (as both TY and JH did), and it blows up, because I think one of the hallmarks of a good show is how it deals with consequences of the choices its characters make. Like we KNOW JH's a good guy, but TY exists as a person separate from JH and the audience and the show subjectivizes her reaction and HOW GREAT IS THAT?? TY REACTS EXACTLY HOW TY WOULD REACT. JH LEGIT WANTS TO RUN WHEN HE DISCOVERS THE TRUTH ABOUT TY. ugh, give me ALL OF THIS A THOUSAND TIMES OVER. These two were so beautifully messy, and damaged, and childish, and hopeful still, I cannot.
ever_neutral: [miss a] inside the gridever_neutral on January 17th, 2015 09:58 am (UTC)
MAKE SOME WHAT'S UP ICONS, PRAY. I would but I'm in Singapore atm. ALSO WRITE ME FUTURE!FIC, KTHX.

NO ONE HAS RECCED THE SHOW TO ME EVER. This post is a gift. IF ONLY MORE PEOPLE HEEDED IT.

SO ARE YOU TELLING ME THERE IS NO OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK? CAN EXISTENCE BE SO BASE???

Also that time that TY went to the agency and DR was all "chill, she'll be just fine" to the boys and the minute TY actually called, she totally lost it and went all parental like "WHERE ARE YOU???? DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS????"

DR constantly pretending not to gaf about anyone and then exposing herself is beautiful 2 me. Also tbt that time she declared she'd sit back and enjoy the JH/TY drama but then couldn't help getting all up in their business anyway.

I did love everything that funereal celebration (lol) ending chose to be, tho. Very fitting for a drama that revolved around the ~great big hill of hope~ theme IMO. AND YOU KNOW PROF. SUN WOULD HAVE APPROVED. (NOT THAT THIS MAKES THE OMISSION OF THE FAME PERFORMANCE ANY MORE ACCEPTABLE. *shakes fist*)

Also, if you want a stronger origin story, let me be the one to break it that there was supposed to be a What's Up! Season Two, i.e. why the ~unfinished feel (which worked in context ofc, but there were plans for continuation is also why). WHICH GOT CANNED BCZ RATINGS OR BCZ IJH'S CONSCRIPTION.

....................................................................................................................................................................................
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... Just picture me ramming myself into a firing cannon. SUCH IS THE DESPAIR THAT ILLUMINATES MY SOUL.

(Also typical of my priorities that my next thought is: WHAT WOULD THIS HAVE MEANT FOR THE OTP? AND WHERE IS THE EPIC NOVEL LENGTH FUTURE FIC, PRAY?)

Soo Hyun/Suzy has a special place in my cavernous interior for being one of the only pairings in existence I've actually right!shipped, BUT NO DENYIN' THAT JH/TY HAS CAUSED ME MORE MISERY. PROB B/C THEY ARE BOTH THE RIGHT!SHIP AND THE WRONG!SHIP OF THE SHOW ERGO DOUBLE THE EMOTIONAL EVISCERATION. STILL OUTRAGED ABOUT TPTB RUTHLESSLY SETTING THEM UP AS A FLUFF PAIRING. SHOCKING AND DISMAYING.

Like we KNOW JH's a good guy, but TY exists as a person separate from JH and the audience and the show subjectivizes her reaction and HOW GREAT IS THAT??

I THINK YOU'VE HIT ON WHY THE CHARACTER WORK ON THIS SHOW AROUSED SUCH SPECTACULAR EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT?? It's what you're saying about the writing SUBJECTIVISING its characters -- they were all legit portrayed as The Heroes of Their Own Stories, which I feel is actually SUPER rare for an ensemble show to pull off?? Writers usually can't help putting their own opinions of their characters/relationships/etc. into the story itself (and you can see that straight up with who Gets the Girl in dramas, frex.), but WU actually established EVERYONE as an unreliable narrator (e.g. INTRODUCING TY with her head!father, i.e. WE ARE IN HER HEAD FROM DAY ONE!!!!!!), which IMO is why the show could get away with leaving so much hanging, since it prioritised everyone's emotional perspectives over what was actually happening. PRIME EXAMPLE BEING THE DEAD FATHER ARC. We're never told if TY SHOULD forgive JH or if JH ~deserves~ to be forgiven, we're just shown how TY and JH themselves feel and left there. To rot with the feels. OTL.
dbz_merchandisedbz_merchandise on June 10th, 2016 08:51 pm (UTC)
What's Up was so underrated... Personally I loved this drama.
youcallitwinteryoucallitwinter on July 5th, 2016 11:05 pm (UTC)
(Oh man, why haven't I LJ'd in so long!) Totally agreed, I think this would forever be number one in my list of underrated dramas. I only accidentally came across it and it's one of my all-time favorite dramas, so I'm almost personally affronted that barely anyone seems to have seen it lmao.